Making Green Infrastructure Greener

UVM students and professor building a rain garden.

Research by Plant and Soil Science Associate Professor Stephanie Hurley and PhD student Michael Ament were featured in a Lake Champlain Sea Grant article entitled, “Making Green Infrastructure Greener.”

Green stormwater infrastructure has emerged as an eco-friendly way to manage the large volumes of water that flow off parking lots, roads and roofs when it rains. Plants and soils absorb and store the runoff reducing impacts on downstream waters. However, the success of these systems depends on their design.

Hurley and Ament, along with Eric Roy of UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, have examined alternative soil media designs for “bioretention” raingardens, the most popular form of Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Their findings indicate that Drinking Water Treatment Residuals (DWTR), a byproduct of water treatment facilities that usually goes to waste, can be incorporated in bioretention soils to bind phosphorus, and help reduce downstream harmful algae blooms caused by excessive phosphorus loading.

Ament defended his PhD in Hurley’s lab during the summer of 2021. The research was funded collaboratively by U.S. EPA and Lake Champlain Sea Grant.

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